by Nesreen Suwan, M.D.
Migraines are a chronic neurological disorder. Migraine symptoms include headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, vomiting, lack of concentration, and scalp tenderness. Symptoms may worsen with simple household activities. These symptoms make it difficult for migraine sufferers to enjoy life, which certainly will take a toll on enjoying their relationships.
Chronic migraine diagnosis is established when the patient has intractable, recurrent migraine headaches that have been going on for 6 months, more than 6 hours a day, more than 15 days a month.
Migraine management includes avoiding triggers and taking preventive and abortive medications. Botox treatment for chronic migraines was FDA-approved in October 2010. It is a preventive treatment of chronic migraine; it is not used to treat an acute attack of migraine.
Many insurance companies are covering the cost of Botox injection for treatment of chronic migraines, and their approval is usually based on reviewing medical records and detailed documentation of all preventive and abortive medications that failed. Sometimes insurance approval may be obtained with less frequent migraines if the patient is not tolerating oral medications, or if those medications are contraindicated due to superimposed medical conditions.
Are you a candidate?
Thorough neurological evaluation is extremely important before making a decision about Botox treatment. The evaluation will rule out possible serious medical conditions and direct your doctor to the best treatment options. In general, Botox is not the first option. It may be considered if the patient fails to respond to standard migraine preventive medications, or if the patient is experiencing undesirable side effects from those medications, such as dizziness and weight gain.
Botox is a great treatment option. Considering its reasonable cost, effectiveness, and minimal side effects in comparison to other treatments, it is truly is a saving grace.
Botox is not for everyone, and if you are satisfied with your migraine control and medications, you may not need Botox treatment. The most important goal is to find the best treatment option that works for you and improves your quality of life and well-being. Start taking charge of your chronic migraines and start living your life!
Dr. Nesreen Suwan operates a headache and fibromyalgia clinic in suburban Lisle and is American Board certified in neurology and pain medicine, with extra certification in headache medicine and Botox treatment.Dr. Suwan is a highly recognized headache specialist and a nationally known speaker in her field. Call 630-420-8080 or visit http://controlchicagopain.com.
ATTENTION MIGRAINE SUFFERERS:
ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR BOTOX?
As Featured In Glancer Magazine, September 2012